Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.

Welcome to the Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife Blog.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information on using native plants in the landscape, issues related to invasive exotic plants, urban wildlife management, and wildlife damage management. It is my intention that this information will assist you in deciphering the multitude of information circulating around the web and condense in some meaningful method as it relates to Kentucky. In addition, I hope to highlight a native plant that can be used in the landscape.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Plant of the Week: Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Wild geranium is one of the easiest, and showiest of the late spring woodland wildflowers.  I love this plant because it forms nice clumps and when combined with eared coreopsis in part sun, the lavendar and yellow color combination is quite stunning.  This shows and individual flower, but when mature it will have clusters of the five petaled lavendar flowers standing tall about about 18" and spreading out about the same.  It is quite drought tolerant, deer and rabbits don't really like it and it will tolerate tougher growing requirements than most native woodland wildflowers.  Like blue phlox and foam flower, this is a staple in the native woodland wildflower garden.  The leaves are also quite interesting and are deeply cut five lobed palmate that can reach 4 to 5" wide.  Some people call this plant crane's bill because the seed pod does in fact resemble a beak of sorts. In fact, geranium in Greek means crane.  These plants are pollinated by a variety of bees, including bumblebees, and butterflies and skippers.  Native Americans used the plant as an astringent to contract tissues and stop bleeding and also to treat toothache and hemorrhoids. There are a few cultivars out there including album with white flowers, Elizabeth Ann with bronze colored leaves, and Beth Chatto with fingered leaves.  Good companion plants include eared coreopsis, dwarf crested iris, Indian pink, spiderwort, and of course native ferns.  Give this wonderful plant a try in the garden because it is so easy to grow.

1 comment:

  1. I had never seen this flower until we began visiting the mountains of North Carolina over 25 years ago, when we noticed the hillsides covered with it every spring. I fell it love with it and managed to get some for my garden there where we live now. It is always a welcome sight in spring, and I wouldn't be without it. I grow many varieties of Geranium in my gardens, but this is always the favorite.